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What if the Red Sox Traded Their Justin Upton – Will Middlebrooks?

with 8 comments

Let me start by writing: I am not advocating this trade. But thought it would be a fun exercise.

What if the Red Sox traded their “Justin Upton” – a young, talented offensive player who is under team “control” for a number of years?

That player is Will Middlebrooks – who Keith Law placed #22 on his Top 25 players under 25 years old list.

Let’s look at what Seattle was supposed to have offered to Arizona for Upton – yes I know Upton is considered better than Middlebrooks. But Middlebrooks is under control for more years than Upton – Middlebrooks is a free agent in 2019, Upton in 2016 (advantage Middlebrooks).

The rumored players that were headed from the Mariners for Upton were four young players one of right-hander Taijuan Walker and lefties Danny Hultzen and James Paxton, plus infielder Nick Franklin, lefty Charlie Furbush, and right-hander Stephen Pryor.

Middlebrooks would be a good add for Seattle – even though they have Kyle Seager (move him to left). The Mariners need offense.

So let’s look at this deal from the Red Sox perspective.

If the deal includes Walker, that’s a plus. Boston needs a potential number one starter. And Walker fills that profile.

Next is Franklin. The Sox don’t need a shortstop prospect (hopefully, if Xander Bogaerts comes through).

But acquiring talent is good.

If Franklin is in the deal – trade him.

Detroit needs a shortstop. Deal Franklin to the Tigers for third base prospect Nick Castellanos (to replace Middlebrooks).

Miguel Cabrera is locked in at third for the Tigers.

Franklin and Castellanos are comparable prospects, according to John Sickels’ evaluation of the Seattle and Detroit farm systems.

Then, let’s figure Upton is more “proven” than Middlebrooks – so Boston only gets Pryor, with the Red Sox also throwing in a youngish bullpen arm with less upside than Pryor.

So the trade is: Middlebrooks and someone like Chris Carpenter or Alex Wilson for Walker, Franklin (then dealt for Castellanos) and Pryor.

If you are the Red Sox, would you make this trade? Do you think Seattle would?

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Written by Albie Jarvis

January 13, 2013 at 9:00 am

8 Responses

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  1. Definitely a tempting deal – I think you want to make trades where you are getting the single best player. Walker is a more elite prospect, but is Middlebrooks worth more since he’s already done it at pro level Interesting question

    L Man

    January 13, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    • I think Middlebrooks is worth more – but he has performed well as major league level. That’s why another good prospect (Franklin – to trade him to the Tigers) needs to be part of the deal.

      Albie Jarvis

      January 14, 2013 at 11:56 am

  2. How about Jose Iglesius for Rick Porcello?


    January 14, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    • Yes, the Red Sox should be checking if the Tigers are interested in a defensive upgrade at shortstop. The jury is still out on Iglesias at the plate (witness the Stephen Drew addition). The Red Sox should be acquiring every quality young arm they can get – and Porcello is on that list! Thanks for your comment.

      Albie Jarvis

      January 14, 2013 at 8:33 pm

      • We are the Sox, not the A’s so when Lester’s contract is up, so is Felix Hernandez’s. We will never have a great rotation brought up from within. We just dont develope like we should. So trading one of our pitching prospects make sense. Middlebrooks does not. Bogaerts does not. Bradley does not. That is our future.


        January 17, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      • I agree – Middlebrooks, Bogaerts and Bradley could become the start of a strong core offense.

        Albie Jarvis

        January 17, 2013 at 9:22 pm

  3. Imagine the outfield if we signed Michael Bourn……Bourn in center, move Jacoby to left, Shane for right. And the batting order gets better.

    1. Bourn, CF
    2. Pedroia, 2B
    3. Ellsbury, LF
    4. Middlebrooks, 3B
    5. Ortiz, DH
    6. Napoli, 1B
    7. Salty/Ross, C
    8. Victorino, RF
    9. Drew, SS


    January 26, 2013 at 6:15 am

    • In the abstract – yes, sign me up for adding Bourn. But…..

      Are you willing to go multi years, big money for Bourn – that’s what Boras is holding out for? Think something like a B.J. Upton contract. And if yes, what about Ellsbury and Bradley for 2014 – and beyond, who you not keeping (or trying to keep in Ellsbury’s case)?

      Or do we think Bourn is at the point where Boras may take a one year, pillow contract (but with that – are the Sox willing to give up the draft pick to get Bourn)?

      One last point on Bourn – do you think teams are reluctant to go multi years, big money for speed guy in his 30’s – because Carl Crawford is etched into their minds?

      Thanks for the lineup idea.

      Albie Jarvis

      January 26, 2013 at 9:34 am

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